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Ivory Coast: 40 detainees freed

08-12-2003 News Release 03/79

Geneva/Abidjan (ICRC) – On 7 December 2003, 40 Ivorian military personnel freed by the Forces nouvelles were handed over to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) at Korhogo and Bouaké, in the presence of representatives of the ECOWAS mission and French forces taking part in Operation Licorne.

The persons concerned were flown to Abidjan on board aircraft provided by the French forces, where the ICRC handed them over to the national armed forces of the Ivory Coast.

Earlier, ICRC delegates conducted private interviews with each detainee, to identify him and check on his health. All detainees returned to Abidjan of their own free will.

The ICRC has access to all persons being held in Ivory Coast in connection with the situation obtaining there since 19 September 2002. Following the release of these 40 detainees, the ICRC will be continuing its efforts to assist both military and civilian personnel deprived of their freedom.

 For further information please contact: Monique Nanchen, ICRC Abidjan, tel.: ++225 224 000 70